July 14, 2010

Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary - Guruvayur, Kerala, India

I asked my American friend who visited Kerala along with me - "Have you seen elephants".

He replied - "Yes, in forest!"

"Not about forest! Have you seen elephants inside a town/city?"

"How is that possible?" - he asked me.

"Some of the ancient temples in South India have elephants" - I replied.

"Really! then, how big the temples would be" - he exclaimed. He added - "Is there any temple which has more than one elephant?"

"Yes, there are such temples. In fact, there is a temple in Kerala state which has around 50 elephants".
When you think of Guruvayur town in Kerala state, you will definitely think about Guruvayurappan temple. When you think about Guruvayurappan temple, you cannot resist thinking about the beautiful image of Lord Guruvayurappan as well as elephants. Guruvayurappan temple is one of the temples in India having a large number of elephants. It is very common among the big South Indian temples to have elephants. However, the number of elephants in each temple would be generally one, and rarely 2-3. However, the Guruvayurappan temple has around 50 temples, which were offered by devotees.

As the temple complex was obviously not too big to keep all the elephants, the temple administration of Guruvayurappan temple runs an elephant sanctuary. The name of the elephants sanctuary is "Punnathur Kotta". It is located at a distance of around 3 kms from Guruvayurappan temple. The sanctuary house more than 50 elephants. This site was an ancient site used by Kerala kings. The sanctuary also has a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Punnathur Kotta elephant sanctuary is a unique sanctuary where you can find only elephants and not other animals. You can enjoy watching elephants bathing, working, tilting their heads and trunks, and making all sorts of activities. It is fun to watch even a single elephant and its activity. Here, you get an opportunity to watch more than 50 elephants. This will be definitely a fun filled picnic for you.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts

Site Name: Punnathur Kotta
Highlight: An elephant sanctuary run by a temple
City Name: Guruvayur
Location: 29 kms from Thrissur, Kerala state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Guruvayur
Nearest Airport: Cochin (around 90 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Guruvayur
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Guruvayur

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  1. We too visited here along with our mum daughters by last year summer trip .. such a liveshow of elephants maintenance we saw..the bathing ones, the walking ones, the eating ones too much to say that cannot be explain in words.. thanks to guruvayurappan.. kids enjoys the visual life of elephants at their natural original forest place.. once again thanks